What is Keto?

Ok so I’ll try to keep it simple. Keto is a low carb high fat diet which causes a change in your body, called ketosis. When this happens, your body will be using the fat intake as energy, instead of carbohydrates or sugars. You essentially become a fat burning machine.

So a little back story. Last year, I entered the Hitchin beard competition and won. Best beard in Hitchin, splendid! As a prize, I got a selection of Capsicana cooking sauces. Admittedly, they stayed on the shelf for a few months before I used them.

Fast forward a few weeks, I’m stepping on the scales and it’s readying 16” 13, touching 17 stone. I’m thinking to myself ‘fuck, that’s heavy!’. So I decided to finally do something about it.

I remembered the Capsicana sauces and I got them out. I made a nice chilli & honey chicken with peppers and rice. It tasted bloody amazing and I loved cooking it! The chicken was juicy, peppers crunchy, and the sauce added the kick to the meal. I was set!

For months, I was cooking my own meals. Many chickens, pigs, cows and lambs were sacrificed to satisfy my belly (sorry guys). This was perfect, I was eating good, exercising a little and feeling a lot better about myself. However, I still weighed the same! What I didn’t know at the time was that I had created the perfect foundation for what was to follow.

I knew about a ketogenic diet for a while but never really knew enough to do it! So I read. I read and I read and I read.

15th August 2016. I started my first week of keto. It was fucking hard. I started off doing lazy keto. I wasn’t counting any calories or tracking any meals. I just ate lots of fatty food and no carbohydrates or sugars. Even after the first day, I felt so proud of myself. I would typically have toast for breakfast, an energy drink in the morning. A Greggs sandwich for lunch with a doughnut. And some random food for dinner, probably pasta followed by another energy drink. I probably lost most of the weight by cutting out the energy drinks, lol. On my day off, I’d order a Domino’s pizza and devour it whilst watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Instead, I’d eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, chicken and vegetables for lunch and some form of meat for dinner, ideally fish. I’d switched to Diet Coke to reduce my sugar intake. I’d snack on pork scratchings and maybe some cheese. Looking back, this was quite calorific but it somehow worked!

I knew there’d be a test. A test of my determination. It was around 2 weeks after I had started. Me and my sisters (and their husbands) had tickets to go see The Goonies at an open air cinema at the Luton Hoo Hotel. It was late August. We were allowed to bring our own food. So my sisters brought a Domino’s pizza with them. They offered some to me and I said no. That was sooo hard for me but I managed to pull through it!

I lost 7lbs in the first 2 weeks which was fantastic! This was all the excess water weight in my body. Slowly but surely, the weight was coming off. Clothes were fitting a lot better!

But the weight loss wasn’t the only positive. I was full of energy! I’d be running around at work all day and still have lots of energy at 10pm that evening. And I was never hungry! Sometimes I’d even struggle to finish a meal which was a first for me! And I was never bloated! Carbs bloated me out, visibly. Now, I would get full and be fully satisfied, never uncomfortable.

The weight kept falling off! In the first month I had lost a stone! I was under 16 stone for the first time in a long time! It slowed down the next couple of months but I had lost 2 stone in 3 months. I lost another half a stone and now I’m fluctuating between 14”7 and 14”11.

Because of this plateau, I decided to start using MyFitnessPal. For those who don’t know, MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a calorie and meal tracking app that logs the calories you eat. I set my macros, which was 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbohydrates and started off on a 2000 calorie limit and now I’ve reduced that to 1800.

MYFITNESSPAL IS A GOD SEND! I’ve learnt a lot about food through that app. Comparing some of the meals I was eating when I first started keto to my current meals is an eye opener!

For example…

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That was a typical day off breakfast. That’s probably around 1500 calories in one meal. Still amazed how I lost weight eating that shit! Sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and halloumi. I still eat the bacon and eggs but I’ve cut out the sausages and halloumi.

I then tried colder breakfasts, such as this

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Avocado, chorizo and mexicana cheese. Perfect quick meal.

Fuck it, I’ll show some of the foods I ate. I try to put them in chronological order to show how my foods changed.

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Steak with garlic butter sauce and a side salad.WP_20160922_19_16_35_RichIMG_0333

I made a carb free pizza using the popular fat head pizza dough recipe. Add some pepperoni, mozzarella and sugar free pizza sauce and you have a ‘healthy’ pizza! Perfect!

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Holy shit that was good! Went to Hawksmoor in Knightbridge with my girlfriend (more on her later) and it was probably the nicest meal I’ve ever had! Sirloin steak with greens, creamed spinach and ribs.

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Another ‘pizza’, this time with a flattened chicken breast as the base. Definitely my favourite pizza! My mum made this for me! can’t take credit for it i’m afraid!

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Very typical lunch for me. Capsicana chicken with peppers, jalapenos and mozzarella.

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And this would be my lunch and snacks. Peanuts and pork scratchings. This was when I started tracking my meals and set myself the 1800 calorie limit.

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I even did food prep for Daisy! That’s my girlfriend (more on her later).

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I then started to add a lot more veg to my meals. I never was a fan of vegetables but now I love them! Give me asparagus over chips any day of the week!

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I’d even get up early to cook my lunches for the week and my breakfast!

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And a typical dinner! 3 egg omelette with cheese and a ranch sauce for dipping! Oh, and there’s the ol Planck!

Anyways, I’ve managed to create a little comparison picture. So visually, I don’t think I’m any different after losing just under 2 and a half stone, but I can tell by the clothes I have.

So here!

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That’s the same shirt! I could never get it done up so I’d wear it over a T shirt. Now, I can wear it done up! Even over a hoody! Obviously I’m eating cake in the first picture! There’s about 10 months between these photos.

Anyways, any questions, feel free to ask! Don’t forget the basic rule for weight loss: calories in vs calories out. Eat at a deficit on any diet and you’ll lose weight. But it you want to try an unconventional diet, try keto! The only thing you have to lose is weight hehe.

Keto isn’t for everyone! But it worked for me.

Oh, and a massive thank you to Capsicana sauces for inspiring me through this journey! Check them out here!